Every year I’m baffled by the quality of the bands that Chicago’s Ribfest is able to secure. It’s not like there’s any prestige to the event – the crowd is sweaty, surly, overly full, sun burnt and relatively small. It’s not even in a nice part of town. I don’t understand how they do it, but every year I’ve been in Chicago I look at the lineup for this season, and right away I know that this year’s Ribfest will consist of 50,000 pounds of barbeque and one vegetarian. Last year Jukebox the Ghost was the big draw, and this year Spinto
Band and Gold Motel played.
So on Sunday evening I trekked down to North Center for Gold Motel. Unfortunately, Chicago Transit Authority and I were in a big fight on that day, so by the time I was done with my two transfers I only caught the last two songs of their set – but let me tell you they were awesome. Lead singer, Greta Morgan, was looking adorable and pocket sized in a gold skirt and black top, and was backed by a band I wasn’t really paying attention to because I was super distracted by the guitarist’s sweet cut-off jorts. I was hoping to catch “Safe in LA,” my favorite from them, but instead they finished off their set with “Cold Shoulders” which is a pretty solid piece as well. It’s easy for bands to just phone it in at these kinds of events where it’s 90 degrees and most of the crowd is chatting through your set, but Gold Motel was all graciousness and smiles – really a lovely group. They’re touring right now and I’d suggest checking these guys out if they come through your part of town – I bet they’re even better in a venue with A/C.